Don Griffith was an American former art director and layout artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios for almost fifty years and also served as the head of the Layout Department at the studio for many years and the de facto Art Director from from the mid-1960s through the 1970s.
Griffith was born in Butte, Montana and moved with his mother and brother and sisters to Hollywood when he was a young boy after his father died. His mother ran a boarding house in Hollywood. He started working at Disney in 1937 at age 19 when the Studio was still on Hyperion. He started out as an inker and worked his way into doing background and layout work. He didn't have any training as an artist before he started working. It was also there that he his wife Katherine Lane, a secretary. One of his first assignments was being Ken Anderson's assistant during the production of ''Pinocchio. After the outbreak of WWII, Griffith join the Merchant Marines.
He returned to the studio where he worked as a layout artist in films like Melody Time, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Lady and the Tramp, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, and The Fox and the Hound.
Griffith and the other Disney animators lived by the adage, "He who dies with the most toys wins!" Each animator's office was usually littered with multiple toys which were played with often during the day. When Walt Disney opened Cal Arts Don taught drawing classes there in the school's first few years. He retired from the company in 1984 while working on the Disney Afternoon shows The Wuzzles and Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
He died on February 9, 1987 from kidney failure, six day after his 69th birthday.
|1940||Bone Trouble||layout artist|
|1943||Victory Through Air Power||art direction: animation|
|1944||Donald Duck and the Gorilla||layout artist - uncredited|
additional story - uncredited
|1947||Donald's Dilemma||layout artist|
|1947||Wide Open Spaces||layout artist|
|1948||Drip Dippy Donald||layout artist|
|1948||Donald's Dream Voice||layout artist|
|1948||Melody Time||"Once Upon a Wintertime": layout artist|
|1948||The Trial of Donald Duck||layout artist|
|1949||So Dear to My Heart||layout artist|
|1949||The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad||layout artist - uncredited|
|1951||Alice in wonderland||layout artist|
|1952||Susie the Little Blue Coupe||layout artist|
|1953||Peter Pan||layout artist|
|1955||Lady and the Tramp||layout artist|
|1955-1964||The Magical World of Disney||layout artist|
|1959||Sleeping Beauty||layout artist|
|1961||One Hundred and One Dalmatians||layout artist|
|1961||Donald and the Wheel||layout artist|
|1963||The Sword in the Stone||layout artist|
|1964||Mary Poppins||background artist|
|1967||The Jungle Book||layout artist|
|1970||The Aristocats||layout artist|
|1971||Bedknobs and Broomsticks||layout artist|
|1973||Robin Hood||art director|
|1977||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh||layout artist:"Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree|
"Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day"
"Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too"
|1977||The Rescuers||layout artist|
|1983||The Fox and the Hound||art director|
|1983||Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore||layout artist - uncredited|
|1983||Mickey's Christmas Carol||art director|
|1985||The Black Cauldron||layout artist|
art director - uncredited
|1985||The Wuzzles||layout artist - uncredited|
|1985-1987||Adventures of the Gummi Bears||layout artist - uncredited|